Costa Rica Announces Intention to Reopen Chipping Potato Market to US Chip Stock

Potatoes for Chipping need to be low in reducing sugars and they should not be to large. Also a somewhat round shape is preferable.

Costa Rica's Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado (SFE) has informed USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that it will begin issuing import permits for US chipping potatoes beginning February 1, 2016.

The Costa Rican market had been closed since August 2013 due to a reported detection of zebra chip in shipment of chipping potatoes, which the US industry questioned. Subsequent testing in a US lab had determined that zebra chip was not present in the shipment sample.

In November 2015, an official from Costa Rica's SFE visited the states of Washington, Oregon, and California to review industry growing and handling practices. Following this visit, SFE sent a letter dated January 11, 2016 summarizing the visit and announcing the reopening of the market to US chipping potatoes.

Once the new import permits are issued by Costa Rica, exports of US chipping potatoes to the market can begin. The market access requirements apparently are unchanged from those two years ago. Required mitigation measures for zebra chip are outlined in this protocol (PDF).

The US potato industry thanks APHIS for its dedicated efforts in reopening this market.